Ice Wars


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“So come on, spill the beans! Who was that gorgeous guy you were saying bye to earlier?” Jade giggled, poking Lauren in the side as they walked home. “His name is Sam. It was his first day and I was just being nice, but anyway he’s moved from Australia and he ice skates too. So I’m going to show him the rink at the weekend if you want to come with us,” Lauren replied, turning to face her friend. “Sure, I will. I mean do you really think I’m going to let you have him all to yourself?” Jade smirked at Lauren. “Ooh, does he have an accent?” She added, bouncing up and down on the spot like a kangaroo.
Lauren couldn’t help but laugh at her friend, Jade was very boy focused and it was rare that they could walk home without her pointing at one or talking about one! “Of course he does Jade! He’s lived in Australia since he was born!” Lauren said and rolled her eyes at her friend as they continued to walk on again. It was Monday so the girls were going back to Lauren’s house, Jade always stayed for dinner on a Monday since her mum worked until late. So for the next four and a half hours Lauren would be listening to Jade bombarding her with questions about Sam and probably the rest of the male population in the school while she tried to concentrate on getting her homework done. Which she now realised would be virtually impossible! After nearly two hours of Jade’s endless boy chatter, Lauren finally cracked. “Jade! Seriously, are you going to talk about the male population for the next three hours?! You know we have this work to do!” Lauren shouted over to Jade who was now looking at Lauren as if she was mad. Looking at Lauren’s face Jade just burst out laughing, “I’m sorry, you just look so adorable with your mad face. Alright I’ll keep quiet, come on let’s do this work then we can go eat. I’m starving!” Jade said, smiling at Lauren.
“I’m sorry, I’m just tired. It’s been a long day, I’ve been up since like 4am and I’ve got another early training session tomorrow too!” Lauren said to Jade with a sigh of resignation as they sat down together on the floor.

By the time Jade’s mum had come to collect her, both girls had eaten their dinner and had finished all their work. Once they’d finished their work, Jade was once again back to her new favourite topic – Sam Greene, the new boy. “I bet he likes you! Why else would he ask you to show him where the rink is?”  Jade teased, grinning at Lauren like a Cheshire cat.
“Duh because he doesn’t know where it is!” Lauren deadpanned, standing with her hands on her hips. “Honestly Jade, you’re a nightmare. You’ve not even spoken to him yet and besides today was his first day and he was just trying to make friends, nothing is going to happen between me and Sam.”  
Once Jade had left, Lauren went straight upstairs and promptly fell asleep for the third time that day. Tomorrow she’d be up again at 4am just to make it to the rink on time to meet Karen, after that she’d have to change, cycle to school and do another full day of work. Despite her tiring new schedule, she knew that if she was serious about making it to the British junior championships and as a professional skater then this was the way it had to be. She would just have to get used to it, she couldn’t let Karen down and most importantly she couldn’t let herself down.
 

Luckily for Lauren she slept right through all night until her alarm clock buzzed loudly in her ear at 4am! Begrudgingly she pushed back the duvet, whacked the alarm clock and rolled out of bed. Taking a peek out of the curtains she could see it was still dark and silent outside. The only sound she could hear was her own breathing as she made her way into the bathroom to begin getting ready. It took longer than usual for Lauren to get out the door, which meant she had to pedal twice as fast to get to the rink on time, plus Karen would kill her if she was even a minute late. Thankfully the streets were virtually dead at that time of day so Lauren whizzed round the roads until she reached the rink. Hauling open the door Lauren slipped inside and made her way through reception to the rink. Throwing her bag on the bench she pulled off her trainers and started to put on her skates, tugging at the laces to tighten them up before beginning to do her usual stretches. Once she was finished she stepped out onto the ice. Since it was so early, nobody else had been on the ice so it was as smooth as silk. Lauren sped round the rink twice before launching into a perfect double toe loop. Hearing someone clapping behind her she steadied herself and looked up towards the benches set in rows around the outside of the rink. There was two women looking at her, one had a scarf wrapped tightly around her head and neck so at first it was hard in the dim room to see who it was. The second of the women was easily recognisable, it was Karen, but Lauren was still trying to figure out who the second woman was when they began to make their way across the rink towards them. It suddenly dawned on Lauren who this woman was! Standing before her eyes was someone Lauren thought she’d never meet in person, someone she’d idolized right from the first time she’d watched a recording of her performing at the 1991 World Championships in Munich, Germany. The woman was Kristi Yamaguchi!
“Lauren! I’d like you to meet an old acquaintance…,” She smiled at Lauren, gesturing towards Kristi, “I’ve asked her here today to give you some tips and some encouragement! She flew in yesterday to take over your training for a couple of days.”
“I’ve really got to stop eating cheese before bed! This is the most realistic dream I’ve had,” Lauren said aloud and pinching her arm in a half-hearted attempt to wake herself up.
“You’re not dreaming Lauren, stop being silly! Now go and show Kristi this isn’t a wasted journey!” Karen said to Lauren with a laugh.
Lauren looked over at Kristi, “Wow. Thank you for coming. It’s an honour to meet you!”  She said before she skated off to do a mini routine for Kristi and Karen.
 

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